Seven Facts about God’s Providence

Text: Ephesians 6:10-20

 

I.         There are questions we have regarding how God works in the world today for which we have no answers

            A.        We cannot see the spiritual realm

            B.        We cannot measure the influence the spiritual realm has on our thoughts

            C.        God hasn’t told us everything

                        1.         Job 5:8-15 - God does marvelous but unsearchable things

                        2.         Job 9:10-12 - Works in ways past finding out

                        3.         Romans 11:33-36 - We do not know God’s mind

            D.        The secret things belong to God - Deuteronomy 29:29

                        1.         But some things have been revealed

                        2.         We will consider seven facts God has told us about His providence

II.        Seven Facts

            A.        Angels are involved in politics

                        1.         The battle between good and evil angels in part plays out in rise and fall of governments

                        2.         An angel told Daniel that he was delayed 21 days because of the prince of Persian - Daniel 10:12-14

                                    a.         Notice that Daniel’s prayers were affecting what was happening in the spiritual and political realms.

                                    b.         Prayer works beyond what we might expect - Ephesians 3:20-21

                                    c.         Prayer avails much - James 5:16

                        3.         God hears the prayer of the righteous and He responds often in ways we cannot fathom, yet those answered prayers can make an impact in our world.

            B.        Opposing forces are doing battle

                        1.         Satan is the prince of the power of the air - Ephesians 2:2

                                    a.         He works or influences the wicked

                                    b.         How is not stated, but that he does is seen all round us

                                    c.         A roaring lion - I Peter 5:8

                                    d.         He has weapons to attack from a distance - Ephesians 6:16

                                                (1)       i.e. Satan can attack us more effectively than we can attack him

                        2.         The battle in the air - Revelation 16:17-19

                                    a.         It is symbolic word pictures, but notice the angel poured his bowl into the air and things started happening on earth.

            C.        We are involved in the battle

                        1.         We wrestle against evil, including the spiritual - Ephesians 6:10-13We are to resist the devil - James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9

                        2.         If we don’t, Satan could establish his throne in our town - Revelation 2:13

                        3.         Overcome by the word of testimony - Revelation 12:9-11

                        4.         Don’t give him place by controlling our anger - Ephesians 4:26-27

            D.        Evil was given a moment of apparent victory

                        1.         When Jesus was about to be crucified, it was evil’s hour - Luke 22:53

                        2.         It was the time the ruler of the world came - John 14:30

                        3.         I doubt those involved in Jesus’ death understood they were tools in the hands of Satan - I Corinthians 2:7-8

                        4.         Just as Peter did not see that Satan was trying to sift him as wheat - Luke 22:31-32

            E.        God turned Satan’s moment into agonizing defeat

                        1.         Jesus’ death and resurrection caused Satan’s fall - John 12:31-33

                        2.         The battle depicted - Revelation 12:7-10

            F.        People are under Satan’s power until we open their eyes with the Gospel

                        1.         Paul’s commission - Acts 26:16-18

                                    a.         Paul was protected though neither the Jews or Gentiles realized it

                                    b.         Paul’s tool to open eyes was the Gospel

                        2.         Satan tries to keep people blind to the truth - II Corinthians 4:3-4

                                    a.         Despite his efforts some will be delivered - Colossians 1:13-14

                                    b.         He cannot keep Christians out - Matthew 16:18

                        3.         Not only is there a battle going on in the air among spiritual forces, but Christians are God’s ground troops.

                                    a.         The more people we share the gospel with, the less Satan’s influence in the world.

                                    b.         How do we slow down evils like divorce, adultery, fornication, abortion, drug abuse, lying, stealing, etc? By teaching the gospel - II Corinthians 10:3-5

            G.        There is time to switch allegiance

                        1.         You are alive this day because God has allowed you time - II Peter 3:9

                        2.         Who knows if this isn’t the moment for you to make a difference? - Esther 4:14

                        3.         Now is the acceptable time for salvation - II Corinthians 6:2

                        4.         The winners in the battle are those with Jesus - I Corinthians 15:57-58

                        5.         Overcome by our faith - I John 5:4-5

III.       Which side will you fight on?

            A.        There is no neutrality in this war

            B.        Angels are fighting for us. The sure victory belongs to God.

            C.        Satan will be defeated. Christians will be delivered. - II Peter 2:4-9

            D.        How long will you keep listening to the powers of darkness and remain blind to the truth?

            E.        Enter the kingdom this day through baptism - John 3:3-5


Based on a sermon by Terry Benton